DuPont: Ellen Kullman starts her fourth year as a leader

During her three years of management, Ellen Kullman, the first female CEO at DuPont, has led the firm through the global turmoil, continuously investing in R&D and focusing the strategy around three megatrends such as: more global food production, less dependence on fossil fuels and safety and protection level increase.

2012 will be the fourth year for DuPont under the management of Ellen Kullman, the first female CEO at the top of the company in its more than 200 years history. During the last three years, Kullman has led the firm through the global turmoil, continuously investing in R&D and focusing the strategy around three megatrends such as: more global food production, less dependence on fossil fuels and safety and protection level increase.
“Approximately 75% of our capital and R&D expenditures are allocated to growth segments. As a consequence of this approach, our portfolio is shifting toward sustainable high-growth opportunities where innovation differentiates our company and creates value for our customers,” said Ms. Kullman.
During her three years of management, the company’s market capitalization increased up to USD 41 million in December 2011 and share price almost doubled its value, going from USD 25.30 at the end of 2008, to USD 49.69 at the end of 2011.
Last year brought Ms. Kullman several recognitions. She has been ranked 4 in FORTUNE’s annual ranking of America’s leading businesswomen – ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business’; ranked 6 in Financial Times Women at the Top 2011 list; ranked 38 in FORBES World’s Most Powerful Women ranking.
In May she completed her biggest move yet with the USD 6.4 billion acquisition of Danish food ingredient producer Danisco, shifting the chemical company more toward food and nutrition. According to Forbes: “Analysts credit her with DuPont’s turnaround in the stock market: Shares have returned 99%, vs. 37% for the S&P, since she took over in 2009,” the newspaper underlines.
During DuPont’s Investors Day, on 13 December 2011, Kullman said: “DuPont expects to deliver USD 300 million of both fixed cost and working capital productivity in 2012. In addition,” she said “DuPont will deliver USD 130 million in cost synergies from the Danisco acquisition in 2012, one year ahead of the original plan.”
The following information was also released at the Investors Day:
•    sales in developing markets are expected to jump 30% in 2011, comprising about one-third of total company sales;
•    DuPont expects full-year 2011 sales to be up about 20%, with double digit increases in most segments;
•    earnings are expected to be up between 18-20%. These results reflect a comprehensive approach to target and grow in these markets, including opening new innovation centres in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and India in 2011.
Ellen Kullman, 55, is the 19th executive to lead the company in more than 208 years of DuPont history. She became CEO on 1 January 2009, and chair of the board on 31 December that year.  She was president from 1 October to 31 December 2008. Prior to that, she served as executive vice president and a member of the company’s office of the chief executive.